On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a proposed rule to dramatically re-define “public charge.” The proposed rule would threaten the ability of many immigrants and their families to confidently use public programs without possible consequences to their immigration status.
It is important for community members to know that the rule has not yet been proposed. This means that none of the “public charge” changes that Trump wants to impose on immigrant families through this rule have gone into effect and there may not be any advantage to disenrolling from government programs until the rule is effective, which will not be for several months.
To aid in the public’s understanding of the proposed rule change, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) has created a “public charge” community information guide, which is currently available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Arabic.
The NYIC has also compiled further information resources:
- If you have general questions about public charge, contact the NYIC’s Health Policy team at 212-627-2227, extensions 249 or 250.
- If you have questions about how this may affect a pending or planned immigration application, please contact your immigration attorney. If you need help finding low-cost, high-quality legal services, call the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.
- If you want to get updates directly from the national Protecting Immigrant Families campaign, which the NYIC is actively participating in, go here. To join the campaign listserv, go here. To join the campaign listserv, go here.
Once the rule is formally posted in the Federal Register, there will be a 60 day public comment period. It is important that every community member post a public comment to fight back against this change. Join the NYIC’s mailing list to stay engaged and learn when and how to submit a public comment.